The answer in question is this

I'm getting downvotes on that answer for some reason that I can't see (or maybe don't understand yet). A downvoted answer represents a poorly written answer or answer that doesn't work. So is it a good idea to delete such answers to keep the site clean?

Also could someone explain the problems with my answer (if any)?

  • 2
    You can delete it if you wish and you will get the lost rep back, however, too many deleted posts will get you an auto ban, so be careful. A better solution would be improve it but without feedback from the voters, this would be difficult. I don't see why you got downvoted, at first glance, you are correct and even provided extra info :/
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 11:30
  • @MarkKirby this might be because my older version of answer wasn't that good (you can see the older versions) but it was by no means poorly written or inconclusive. any ways hope i don't get more down-votes on it Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 11:32
  • 2
    To "comment out" means to add the # so the line is not read. The opposite (to remove the #) is to "uncomment". You just edited a post and reversed the meaning btw, I fixed it
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 12:11
  • @Zanna that's why those down votes, let me fix it there Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 12:13
  • @Zanna you did it, thanks for that Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 12:21
  • 1
    It's a pleasure, any time! :D
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 12:21
  • I see 10 up votes? in the linked answer Commented May 7, 2017 at 15:53

5 Answers 5


I delete my answer if it's wrong and I don't know how to fix it. If I can fix it, I fix it.

It's helpful if downvoters leave comments so that you know what's wrong (and even more helpful if instead of downvoting they fix it themselves instead). Unfortunately this doesn't always happen. And sometimes downvotes are a bit random.

In the event that

  • my post gets downvoted &&
  • nobody comments to say why &&
  • I cannot figure it out myself after much research and head-scratching

I might come and ask in chat to see if any of the much smarter folks there can see what foolish mistake I have made. If they can't tell me, I might just leave it. Tim Post might have lost his keys.

  • 1
    let's hope It wasn't Tim who down voted my answer . ;p Commented Apr 25, 2017 at 12:32
  • @SumeetDeshmukh also, if it's only one downvote sometimes it's really not worth the trouble. Might just be that your answer is fine but somebody else had a bad day. Or wanted to take revenge of you (as a matter of fact, I have one downvote on one of my answers and I know exactly who was behind it). Don't be too worried. Commented May 1, 2017 at 18:28

Don't take the odd downvote too seriously. Maybe the person doing it misunderstood your answer, maybe they just don't like you, maybe they thought your answer was mediocre and a lower-voted one was better and voting on both answers let them change the relative scores by 2 rather than 1.

Now if you are getting downvoted into the dirt that may be a different matter.


If you've been downvoted to a score of -3 or less there's a peer pressure badge for that discussed at What is the "Peer Pressure" Badge?

There's a good Q&A on a related topic at Should I remove a wrong answer (Peer Pressure)?

It's unfortunate that you aren't getting feedback along with the down votes as constructive criticism is useful but empty criticism is not. It's clear from the current voting tallies that far more users think your answer is good than bad so don't concern yourself too much on this one.

Looking at it in it's current form with an extremely critical eye, the only things I can see that might result in a downvote is using sudo -H rather than gksu to open a graphical editor such as gedit with super user privileges. Oh, and there's a minor typo "And explanation" should likely be "An explanation"

The downvote that I see was likely from a previous iteration of the answer (since improved). The downside of leaving no feedback regarding a downvote is there is no way for the downvoted to respond that the problem has been fixed, allowing for the reversal of said vote. I really wish that didn't happen.

  • 1
    I fixed those issues too, and in the early iteration of the answer iIcompletely changed the meaning of commenting out, that explains the downvotes, that's my mistake, now it's getting positive response. thanks for the answer Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 14:33
  • 1
    I considered those issues extremely minor and certainly not worthy of a downvote. From what I've seen you are doing good work here. Keep it up! :-)
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 14:54

If the majority of votes on an answer or question are downvotes it's a good indication that it doesn't belong.

You are not obliged to delete your answer or question, but you should take it as an indication there is likely something wrong with it. Remember that users are allowed to upvote or downvote for any reason they like (except as an attempt to game the system) and people can be wrong, so if you feel strongly that your answer or question is a good one despite the downvotes, then feel free to reinforce it - by improving or clarifying it. Maybe people don't understand what you mean or you haven't expressed yourself clearly or given enough information.

But maybe the downvotes will reveal that you've made some sort of mistake or misunderstanding, and deleting your answer or question may be appropriate.


A downvote on an answer that is complete is more a call for improvements. Additionally, I suspect there is a philosophy of not indicating sudo for commands and let the OP figure that extra step from the terminal output.

Sometimes there something odd about how you set the instructions or how the answer layout works. Maybe the OP accepts but the answer has to be understood by anyone.

In your answer, I found that the last note sheds some light on a mistake so you should edit the answer instead next time a note corrects a mistake.

So for that's the point that justifies the downvotes because you in your answer have all the information to do this improvement.

Keep it up! you're almost there if that is the case.

It could be Sudo it could be the Note!! Happy Llamas!

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